The Kansas City Chiefs will hopefully be preparing for Super Bowl LVII this upcoming February, but in the meantime, seven members of the red and gold were selected to participate in the initial 2023 Pro Bowl Games on February 5.
The selections, which includes at least one representative from each phase, are as follows. The players denoted with an asterisk are original selection starters.
Offensive Tackle Orlando Brown Jr.
Center Creed Humphrey*
Interior Defensive Lineman Chris Jones*
Tight end Travis Kelce*
Quarterback Patrick Mahomes*
Offensive Guard Joe Thuney
Punter Tommy Townsend*
This marks the fifth-consecutive selection for Mahomes, who currently leads the NFL in passing yards (4,496) and passing touchdowns (35). He is one of only five players in league history to tally four or more seasons with 35+ passing touchdowns, and the two players who recorded more such seasons – Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers – each only did so six times. Mahomes has done so four times in only five seasons as a starter.
Mahomes' favorite target this season has of course been Kelce, who secured his seventh-consecutive 1,000-yard season earlier this month. Kelce – who has now been selected to eight-straight Pro Bowls – has 91 receptions this season for 1,144 yards and an NFL-most 12 touchdowns. He passed Pro Football Hall of Famer Shannon Sharpe for the fourth-most receiving yards by a tight end in NFL history this past Sunday (10,150).
The duo of Mahomes and Kelce represents one of the best connections in the league, but football is won in the trenches, and the Chiefs' offensive line is one of the top units in the NFL. Three members of Kansas City's blocking unit were selected to this year's event, as Brown, Humphrey and Thuney each earned Pro Bowl honors. It marks the fourth-consecutive nod for Brown, while Humphrey and Thuney were each selected for the first time.
On the other side of the ball, Chris Jones earned his fourth-straight Pro Bowl nod after compiling another monster campaign. Jones' 11 sacks currently rank seventh in the league while his 55 total pressures lead all interior defensive linemen.
Finally, Townsend earned his first Pro Bowl nod on Wednesday. The three-year veteran currently leads the NFL in net average distance (46.5 yards) and ranks second in average total distance (51.8 yards). The Chiefs don't punt very often – Townsend ranks 30th in that category – but he has consistently performed whenever called upon.
In addition to those seven players, six other Chiefs were selected as Pro Bowl alternates:
Offensive Guard Trey Smith
Defensive End Frank Clark
Inside Linebacker Nick Bolton
Kick Return Specialist Isiah Pacheco
Fullback Michael Burton
Cornerback L'Jarius Sneed
Each of those players has helped the Chiefs amass an 11-3 record this season, and while their collective focus is fixed on Super Bowl LVII, the league's recognition of all of these guys is certainly worth celebrating.